Outside Play

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Today Oliver didn’t wake up until almost 11. It’s rare but it happens every once in a while. We went to the museum yesterday but he’s been cooped up inside quite a bit this week and we were both getting restless, so today after brunch, we went out into our front yard. It wasn’t terribly cold. My phone said 42 but it didn’t feel that chilly at all. I let him go barefoot to experience all the textures and kept a check on him to see if he was getting chilled, but he never did. Often times I worry what other mom’s think of me. I know I shouldn’t, but I’m sure they talk. I never did hats and we’ve never bundled up. He runs a little warm, but I’ve just never felt the need to constantly keep him covered. So when showing post like this, seeing my child sitting in the grass in January weather barefoot with no hat, I promise you, he was fine. 100% comfortable.

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When I sat him down I sat away from him and I just stayed quiet. I didn’t want to distract him and I wanted him to explore how he felt the need to. Every once in a while I would name something for him, such as ‘Stick’ or ‘Rock’ or “That stick is smooth, but this stick is bumpy.” I didn’t hand him anything or take anything from him. For a while he was content in sitting and playing with a pile of sticks. He would pick one up and feel the weight in his hands. He’d hold it by the end and poke with it. Either me or the ground. He’d swing it above his head, then he’d bring it back down on a rock. He picked them up in both hands, studying the texture of each. He stuck them in his mouth to feel how they felt on his lip and how they felt when he bit them. I feel like I need to interject here and let you know I’m not a mom that is constantly rushing to pull things out of his mouth. Rarely am I ever telling him ‘no no, don’t put that there’ unless it’s a true choking hazard. You wanna eat that stick? Go ahead. Get some fiber. That rock? Lick it. It won’t kill you. Sure, chew on that leaf. Eat some dirt. Why not? Hands can be washed. Faces can be wiped. If it’s not going to hurt them, let them explore. No one would call me a helicopter parent, that’s for sure. lol #worldsokayestmom

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Once he got past the sticks he found larger rocks to stack and play with. He felt their smooth texture and like to put them in piles and drop them behind him. After a bit, Oliver decided to crawl around an explore more of his space. The past couple of weeks I’ve really tried encouraging him to put his toys back in their baskets once we’re done playing in his room for the day. Not only is this a life skill I want to instill later, but it has also encouraged him to begin putting objects into baskets and bins and such. Something he wasn’t doing before at all. So today when he crawled over to were we have some rocks and wood chips and began to put the wood chips and dirt into an empty planter, I was thrilled. This is the beginning stages of sorting and categorizing! It’s so exciting to watch him do it on his own. Again, I stayed back and stayed quiet. He dug up the dirt. He threw the rocks. He pulled up and stood barefoot on the wood and realized it wasn’t comfortable, then problem solved his way back down. It was wonderful. Several time I thought we should go in, but he wasn’t slowing down, so I let him play.. When be began crawling into my lap and getting clingy and fussy, I knew it was time to head in for a nap. We stayed outside nearly 2 hours and he was completely self entertained the whole time, and the whole experience was completely free and needed no guidance or extra supplies. I brought in a few of the larger rocks he was playing with so tomorrow we can wash them off in the sink and he can explore them wet and clean. I’ll keep these in a basket for a few days in his room to play with and see what he does with them.

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Over all today was a wonderful experience for the both of us. My son got to explore his world anyway he wanted to, and I as his mother got to watch his concentration, his problem solving skills, his curiosity. We need to get outside more and today inspired me to do just that. To kick off our shoes and just be in nature.

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